Category Archives: A Music Piece a Week

Music 367: The annoying kingfisher outside my window

Today’s posting is a piece of music for piano called “The annoying kingfisher outside my window”. In all probability the New Zealand native Kingfisher is a distinct species and hence would have a different call from kingfishers of other varieties in other places.

If you listen to this piano piece you might get some idea of the “untunefulness” of the New Zealand Kingfisher which I hear repeated ALL DAY!

This LINK HERE will take you to another page with links to my compositions of 2021 – including the new Kingfisher piece. Go there if you dare!

Tomorrow’s posting (Valentine’s) will be not a true story of love but a story of true love!

2027. It was the Rainbow gave thee birth

This is a personal reflection which could be construed as a story. Outside my window, especially in the early mornings, there are usually two or three kingfishers sitting on the fence looking down into the long grass. Suddenly one of them will swoop down, gather something, and return to the fence. Presumably they are looking for insects or lizards or worms or whatever.

I like them. At primary school we were given a poem to learn off by heart by William Henry Davies called The Kingfisher:

 It was the Rainbow gave thee birth, 
 And left thee all her lovely hues; 
 And, as her mother’s name was Tears, 
 So runs it in thy blood to choose 
 For haunts the lonely pools, and keep 
 In company with trees that weep. 

In all my years I have always wanted to find a kingfisher’s nest and never have. They peck a tunnel/cave into a dirt bank and raise a family in there. The local farmer said that at the back of his farm there is a bank where the kingfishers have their nests. And then…

Just out my window, on a clay bank, a pair of kingfishers pecked a hole! They dug a cave and presumably laid some eggs. I didn’t like to go too near lest a disturbance drove them away. Things settled down. I rarely saw the pair but could hear them calling all the time with their repetitive call. Meanwhile the bank below the hole was collecting more and more poo.

That’s all there is to see. No sight of babies, but poo poo poo.

A hole in a bank, repetitive calls, and poo poo poo. I’ve always been a bit of a romantic.

Music Compositions 2021

Hello Everyone. I’m still getting things on this blog (and in life) organized for 2021 (11 January). I’ve decided (at least for a while) to add postings of music compositions to this page as they get created (rather than lumber people by posting new pages with new music compositions all the time). The angst wrought by having UNposted (and possibly valueless) compositions lying around is debilitating (I find (and you will possibly find too once you hit a certain age)).

So this page will act like an index (and anyone interested will simply now and again have a peek to see if there’s anything new).

To be honest, I don’t like having any composition UNposted. (What if I dropped dead and a masterpiece was left undiscovered (permanently)?). I would be relegated to the stature of a Rimsky-Korsakov rather than that of a Stravinsky!

So this “index” will give date, title, musical instrument, duration, and link to both audio and (usually) written music. Even though there’s a copyright notice on the page I long for the day when something of mine was considered worthy of pinching.

The picture has nothing to do with anything. The tree is the “China Doll Tree” in my garden and New Zealand doesn’t have hummingbirds.

Music Compositions 2021

  1. 11 January – Whimsy 1 – for piano (1’24”) – audio HERE and the pdf HERE.
  2. 11 January – Whimsy 2 – for piano (1’24”) – audio HERE and the pdf HERE.
  3. 13 February – The annoying kingfisher outside my window – for piano – audio HERE and the pdf HERE.
  4. 2 March – Three short pieces based on the same 12-tone row:

Music 364: Piano Sonata 4

Here is a sonata (3 movements) for the piano.

If you wish to contact me about performing it at Carnegie, or the NY Met, or the Royal Albert, or anywhere important then I can be contacted at bbgoodman@hotmail.com because contact@stagebarn.com seems to be dastardly erratic.

The picture is of a weta – they are the largest insects in the world apparently and are a type of cricket. They have nothing to do with this sonata, except there was one waiting to greet me at my front door when I ventured out this morning.

Click on a Movement title to listen to each:

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

Click on a Movement title to download the written music of each:

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

Smoko!

“Smoko” is the New Zealand-Australian term for taking a coffee/tea break at work (mid-morning, mid-afternoon). I’m taking a Smoko Break from posting daily on this blog for a while. There’s still plenty to read if you click on the Index Link at the top of the page!

I shall be pottering around. In the meantime, I wish everyone Season’s Greetings for which ever season you happen to be passing through!

Music 363: A Hitherto Missing Variation on a Haydn Minuet

Hi Everyone

I posted a piano sonata the other day and said it would probably be the last bit of music for the year. Not so! With this blog winding up in a couple of days (at least this stage of it) I’m having a tidy-up. So this little piano piece should be the last of the music. It really is me just being a bit silly.

The Haydn Minuet is from the second movement of a Haydn Piano Sonata in E minor (I’ve changed the key in this arrangement). And the variation uses a scale by the 20th century German/American composer Arnold Schoenberg. Some enterprising teacher might use it to illustrate some of the differences between music of the Classical era, and music of the mid-20th century.

It is quite short. Thanks.

Click HERE to listen to the music.

Click HERE to download the written music.

Music 362: Piano Sonata No. 3 in E minor

Hi Everyone

Here is a sonata (3 movements) for the piano. It will probably be the last bit of music for the year. The computer is playing them as my mic is broken – and besides, bits of the sonata are getting beyond my ability to play them.

I’m not expecting everyone to sit down for quarter of an hour to listen as they’re a bit arty-farty in places, but if you’re interested here it is! (Note: my autocorrect keeps changing “arty-farty” to “arty-party”.) It is called “Piano Sonata in E minor”; it starts in E minor but I quickly got distracted!

Thanks

Click on a title to listen to each of the three Movements:

1st Movement
2nd Movement
3rd Movement

Click on a title to download the written music of each of the three Movements:

1st Movement
2nd Movement
3rd Movement

Music 356-361: Six Dances from the Afterlife

Hi Everyone

Here are some dances for the piano called Six Dances from the Afterlife in honour of Halloween! (The computer is playing them as my mic is broken – so even though the electronic piano sounds a bit tinny it’s probably better than my piano playing these days!)

I had set out inspired by Bach’s various suites, but by the time there was a sort of Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Minuet completed, the Air and Gig got thrown out the window in favour of a kind of Two-step for Two and one called Kick Off Your Shoes.

Click on a title in the first list to listen to the music, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen:

Click on a title to download the written music:

Music 353-355: Three Strange Little Pieces for the Piano

Hi Everyone

Here are possibly the only and the last of the piano pieces for 2020. The set is called Three Strange Little Pieces for Piano. They’re partly a tribute to 2020. They’re not much, but I had to get rid of them out of my head. Please note that “wrong” notes are (usually) intentional. (The computer is playing them as my mic is broken, and… well… aren’t we all sick of 2020?)

Click on a title in the first list to listen to the music, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen
1. Piano Piece I
2. Piano Piece II
3. Piano Piece III

Click on a title to download the written music
1. Piano Piece I
2. Piano Piece II
3. Piano Piece III

Music 352: Dancing in wet sand while wearing a mask

Happy 4th of July to my USA friends!

This piece of music today was a lockdown composition. I grew tired of hearing that one could walk on wet sand but not on dry sand, like we were cats looking for the “kitty-litter”.

[For those who like a more academic approach to music listening (and presumably in this case it’s not many of you because these things don’t matter!) this piece of music is not spontaneously played upon a keyboard. I took a 12-tone serial row by Arnold Schoenberg, made a grid out of it, and composed using only the diagonals on the grid. Whatever!]

Anyways – it brightened my day. I hope it brightens yours!

If the above link doesn’t play, then try clicking HERE!